On 24th March I went to Seville to meet some friends from Chester University to experience a traditional Semana Santa. All through the week there were processions in Granada of people dressed in traditional religious attire (Nazarenos) carrying really heavy figures of Jesus and other representations of scenes from the bible. It was brilliant to see such a big deal made out of Easter. Here, it had some importance and meaning which was a far better celebration than giving someone a chocolate ‘Easter egg’. Even for a non-religious person like myself, I enjoyed all the different processions (pasos) and learning about the reasons behind them. And I was lucky enough to spend it with some friends and Spanish people from Seville too, who were happy answering my millions of questions.
I hadn’t been to Seville before and I was really excited about going, as the capital of Andalucia I was expecting it to be special and it definitely was. I arrived at around 3pm and met my friends by the river in a bar. We ordered some sangrias and sat in the sun while we caught up with each other, we hadn’t seen each other in nearly a year so we had a lot to talk about. Later on we had a walk through the city centre, we saw the cathedral, the alcazar and then we made our way to Plaza de España. There were crowds of people all over the place watching the processions and it was hard to get around but we pushed our way through.
The Plaza de España was beautiful. It was one of the best plaza’s I have seen in Spain and I couldn’t stop taking pictures nor talking about it after we left. We arrived just as the sun was setting so we had the chance to see it both in the daylight and then at night illuminated by the surrounding lights. There was a river moat which followed the building around the square with small rowing boats available to explore the square from the water. I really didn’t want to leave the plaza but food was calling and we needed a sit down before we went to watch the processions into the early hours. We still had a long night ahead of us and needed some energy to make it through to 9am the next day; the time of our bus to Huelva.
We had some tapas and a beer and then waded through the flocks of people to find our friend’s spanish friends who were in a small street watching the processions from there. After eventually finding them, we set up camp with cameras at the ready and awaited the next paso. I think we saw the ending of ‘pasión’ which was at half past 12 and then the other ones we saw were between 3:30am and 7am and called ‘el silencio’ and ‘la macarena’, not quite the macarena I used to dance to at my school discos though. In the macarena 2,800 nazarenos took part and it lasted around an hour and a half, it was really spectacular. They gave out small religious pictures to the people watching as they passed by and I got 3, which was a nice thing to take away from he experience. I couldn’t believe the people carried them heavy structures filled with candles down tiny narrow streets, they were a hairs width away from the buildings on either side sometimes. In between some of the processions we had a few hours to wait so we went to try a traditional sevillian dessert called torija, a very sweet kind of cake covered in honey and sugary syrup. Here are some pictures from the night:
It was so impressive and some people watching were so taken aback by the whole thing that they had tears in their eyes and cried. There were singers on the balconies as the processions went past, and they made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck it was so intense, you could actually feel their emotion. Especially ‘el siliencio’ because it was deadly silent as the Nazarenos were walking past and it gave a really powerful effect. There’s a video > here < of one of them.
Miss you all x